Cambodia has Angkor Wat, Myanmar Bagan, and Thailand Ayutthaya. For us, these are the three most impressive archaeological remains in the region. That’s why we can’t believe most tourists visit for a couple of hours and leave. What a mistake! We have the best information on where to stay in Ayutthaya and the rest of Thailand.
As you probably know, we love nature and architecture. Therefore, we adore Ayutthaya. The city has breathtaking archaeology set in lush green forests and parks. Besides, most of the temples are ruins. The Burmese destroyed it in 1767. Since it was mostly left untouched, Ayutthaya feels authentic.
Over the past few years, the city has gone fancy. Today, Ayutthaya, like the rest of Thailand, has fantastic hotels. Fortunately, it is still small and full of character, history, and nature. Do yourself a favor and spend at least one night in Ayutthaya. We are sure you will find the hotel that’s right for you.
The Best Hotel to Stay in Ayutthaya
The best place to stay in Ayutthaya is the Baan Pomphet Hotel. The fancy property is next to an ancient fortress and overlooks the Chao Phraya River. It’s a small boutique hotel with a big garden, a giant banyan tree, a pool, and the best restaurant in the city.
We love the location because it’s near the Archaeological Park but very quiet. Thus, if it gets hot and you are tired, you can come back and rest by the pool for a couple of hours. Likewise, it’s easy to go back to the hotel after exploring the ruins at night.
The hotel blends with the fortress and river. The architects created a contemporary building that looks very Thai. Therefore, you experience Ayutthaya. The service is classy, warm, and very professional. Even if you don’t stay here, stop by the restaurant to eat or have cocktails while enjoying breathtaking views.
Best Areas to Stay in Ayutthaya
South of the Archeological Park
The area south of the Archaeological Park and north of the Chao Praya River is very traditional and quiet. Some of the city’s grandest houses are here, overlooking the river. We like it because it’s full of green areas and trees. Though less dense, there are several restaurants, minimarkets, and coffeehouses in the area. It’s the best area to stay in Ayutthaya.
You have to visit three museums. The Chao Sam Phraya National Museum exhibits objects found on the ruins. Though small, the collection of gold artifacts is dazzling. The free Ayuthaya National Art Museum is in front. They hand free postcards! The Ayutthaya Historical Study Center is a big modern building that showcases different Thai cultures.
Some of the best restaurants in the city are here. Our favorite is BaanMaiRimNum. They serve Thai food with views of the river and a temple. You and your bike can cross the river on a boat! Ferries leave from Wat Khun Phrom Ferry Terminal. It’s a fun way to save time. The best luxury hotels in Ayutthaya are here.
We Recommend These Hotels South of the Archeological Park:
As mentioned, our favorite hotel in Ayutthaya is the Baan Pomphet. Since it only has 8 rooms, it’s very private and quiet. Likewise, the service is personalized. They will help you arrange anything you need. The location is brilliant, close to the main temples. A pool, lovely garden and river views complete the feast.
The Sala Ayutthaya is the other luxury hotel in the city. It’s next to Srinagarindra Park and offers views of the temples after the river. The modern building has a fantastic rooftop terrace. There’s a big pool and a sundeck too. Book a deluxe room with river and temple views. It has a hot tub!
Center – East of the Archeological Park
The area to the east of the Ayutthaya Historical Park is the best place where to stay if you don’t have much time. The entire complex is 289 hectares big. However, the best temples are in the center of the city. It’s a big park with tall trees, temples, and monasteries.
We strongly recommend visiting as many temples as possible. Since some are a bit far from the city, this requires time and some effort. Therefore, if you are short of time or energy, focus on the Historical Park. From the train station to the park is a half an hour’s walk.
Besides, the area has several restaurants, markets, and coffee shops. It’s pretty safe and not that developed. You won’t see any of the huge towers that populate Bangkok. In fact, old traditional houses line some of the streets. Since most tourists leave in the afternoon, you will have it all to yourself.
We Recommend These Hotels in the Center:
The Ban Boonchu Hotel is close to the train station and half an hour’s walk to the Historical Park. Bueng Phra Park is two blocks away. It’s a traditional Thai wooden house on stilts with a cute garden. The rooms are clean and comfortable. The manager Kitty is very friendly and nice.
The Momento House is across the train station, half a block from Pasak River. It’s a family-run hotel with rooms with private bathrooms. It’s got a very nice common area with high ceilings and wooden floors. You can have your complimentary breakfast here or on the veranda. The couple that manages the hotel is lovely.
West of Chao Praya River
The area west of Chao Praya River is a half-hour walk from the Historical Park. To get there, cross the big avenue over the river. However, it’s perfect for exploring the temples on this side of the river. The area is a bit rural and full of green parks.
You have to visit Wat Thammaram and Wat Kassatrathirat north of the bridge. Then go south to Wat Lot Chong and continue to Wat Chaiwatthanaram. The latter is our favorite. Thai tourists rent traditional costumes at the door and take pictures. To our surprise, a lot of foreign tourists skip this area.
Not everything is ancient in Ayutthaya. Wat Tha Ka Rong is a huge Buddhist temple favored by the local population. It’s diverse, huge, and has its own floating market. Good food too! Walk north from there to Al Faruk Umar Bin Al Khattab Mosque. It’s a simple modern mosque in the middle of ancient Buddhist temples.
We Recommend These Hotels West of Chao Praya River:
The Ayutthaya Retreat Hotel is north of Worachet Village. It’s an hour to the Historical Park and half an hour to the temples on this side of the river. It’s a fantastic resort with its own pond! The traditional teak houses are beautiful and super comfortable. You’ll love the pool and sundeck.
Ayothaya Riverside House
For traditional Thai accommodation, book a room or boat at the Ayothaya Riverside House. The family house is next to the river and has a garden, a sundeck, and hammocks to chill! It has views of the temple after the river. They have bicycles too!
East of Pasak River
This area is east of the Pasak River and west of the highway from Bangkok. The train station is here too. You have to cross the river to get to the Historical Park. Take the bridge or a boat! The Ayutthaya Floating Market is to the north.
Some of Ayutthaya’s best temples are on this side of the river. Chedi Wat Sam Pluem is an ancient stupa in the middle of Rojana Road. Wat Khudeedao, Wat Maheyong and Wat Dusidaram are to the north. Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon and Wat Phra Non to the south.
We have to be honest, the area is not as atmospheric as the ones above. However, it’s very authentic. Stay here if you are short of time and need to go back to the city fast. That said, it’s very safe and full of great restaurants and shops. Besides, the 5 star hotels in Ayutthaya are here.
We Recommend These Hotels East of Pasak River:
Classic Kameo Hotel & Serviced Apartments
The 5-star hotel Classic Kameo is on Rojana Road, a couple of blocks from the Stupa. The tall modern tower features a pool, sauna, and gym. The rooms are plush and perfectly isolated. Their fully equipped apartments are perfect for families. The rooms on the top floor offer memorable views.
The Kantary Hotel has a rooftop pool with a sauna and a hot tub! You will need it. Not only that, but the views are epic. The modern tower has huge studios and apartments. Every single unit is fully equipped and has a balcony. There’s onsite parking, and the breakfast is complimentary.
How Long to Stay in Ayutthaya
We’ve been to Ayutthaya several times. Sometimes we went just for the day, others we stayed for almost a week. To us, it’s one of the nicest places in Thailand. UNESCO agreed with us and included Ayutthaya in its World Heritage List. Therefore, you can easily stay for a week discovering the temples.
However, we all have time constraints, and Thailand is full of unbelievable places to visit. Thus, we wonder how many days are needed in Ayutthaya to cover the basics. We strongly recommend spending at least one night. You simply can’t see most of the temples in a day.
The city is slowly becoming popular. The first time we went 8 years ago, we were almost alone. Though numbers have increased recently, it is still not crowded. One of the best things to do in Ayutthaya is to bike at night amongst the temples! You will regret not spending two nights here!
As mentioned, the area is huge. Walking is the best way of moving around if you want to see just the Historical Park. There are no cars, so you can walk easily between the temples. Take note that it gets super hot, especially during the summer. Thus, don’t forget proper shoes, a hat, and a recycled bottle of water.
To reach the temples out of the Historical Park, you can bike or hire a tuk-tuk. Tuk-tuks are a fantastic way of interacting with local people. Besides, it can be tricky to find far-away temples. Your driver will take you everywhere in no time and safely. How much would you pay for such a service back home?
We love biking around Ayutthaya. It’s a magical experience. You get to see the temples and the gardens first hand. Ask in your hotel if they have bikes. If not, you can rent them in front of the Historical Park. Keep them for the night so you can tour the area under the moon!
We strongly recommend paying the full ticket. It includes 6 different temples. If not, you can access some for free, but pay individually for others. The ticket is inexpensive. Keep it and show it upon request. The park opens from 8AM to 6PM. However, you must enter the temples half an hour before.
We cannot stress enough how hot it can get in the area. That’s why we use a hat and an umbrella. Don’t worry if you get hungry, there are fantastic restaurants all around town. If you get thirsty, you can buy refreshments at the door of most temples.
There is no need to exhaust yourself. This has to be a pleasant experience! If you are biking and get tired all you have to do is stop a big enough tuk-tuk and hop on. Your driver will take to the nearest chilling spot. Remember that most restaurants close before 9PM.